Wild Salmon Minyan
And that, says Hesterman, was the birth of the Minyan. (In Jewish law, a minyan is the number of Jews required to conduct certain religious duties, traditionally, ten men.) "We were just eight," says Seligman, "but we knew it would grow."
Since that dinner party, AAWSM has grown solely through word of mouth. Members appreciate the opportunity to pay wholesale prices for high-grade fish--this year, from $7.70 to $14.95 per pound--and the direct link with the fishermen.
"It's an opportunity to learn things we wouldn't necessarily know as consumers," says Seligman.
Buying clubs pose a few logistical challenges, not least how to efficiently distribute hundreds of pounds of frozen fish. (Before taking over Seligman's garage, AAWSM passed out fish in a parking lot downtown.) Despite the challenges, says Hesterman, "it's the easiest community organizing I've ever done."
This year, AAWSM members were not the only ones to enjoy Lummi Island catch. Two of the eighty boxes delivered in Ann Arbor went to Food Gatherers.
[Originally published in January, 2010.]